After thoroughly enjoying my visit to Osaka aquarium, I walked into a nearby shopping area to get some food. As luck would have it, I wandered into Naniwa Kishinbo Yokocho, which was designed to look like 1970s era Osaka. Walking around was a lot of fun, but I was focused on my goal of finding one of Osaka’s two famous foods: takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (like an omelette pancake). Both Hiroshima and Osaka have claims on okonomiyaki, the difference being that Hiroshima’s version has fried noodles inside.
After walking around for a while, I ended up walking into the nearby Tempozan Harbor Village where I followed my nose to a delicious smelling okonomiyaki restaurant called “Tsuruhashi Fugetsu“. I was shown to a table with a large grill in the middle. After looking at the Japanese only menu, I ordered pork okonomiyaki both because it sounded delicious, and because it was one of the few items I could read from the menu.
Usually when I am eating alone in a restaurant I am always reading a book. In this case I had to be careful not to let my book get too close to the grill. Fortunately I had no issues and enjoyed reading while eating the fantastic okomoniyaki that the server cooked at my table.
After eating, I got up to continue my exploration of Osaka. While I was in the aquarium, my knee had started to hurt a little. I injured my knee in University due to some grain alcohol fueled misadventures and it has never really been the same since. Usually it doesn’t bother me, but due to the amount of walking I have done in the past few days, it was becoming very uncomfortable. After lunch I was really starting to notice the pain.
To give my knee a rest, I went to a nearby IMAX theatre (Osaka Port has everything), and watched a cool 3D movie about New York City. After the movie my knee was hurting more, and I was starting to limp. I really wanted to get to Osaka castle, but reluctantly made the decision to end my trip short.
I went back to Osaka station, and did a little shopping in an import food store to kill some time while waiting for the shinkansen. I could have used at least another day in Osaka, but I don’t think that my knee would cooperate. I will have to go back another time! I really did enjoy my short time in Osaka and wish I could have stayed longer.
(2015 Update) I realized much later that one of the big differences between traveling by myself and traveling with someone else is that I am much less likely to stop and take breaks when I am on my own. When I started to think about the insane amount of walking I did in my two day trip to Himeji and Osaka and the short amount of time I spent sitting, it’s no wonder that my knee was hurting.
If you are sightseeing in Japan, be prepared for lots of walking. And if you are traveling by yourself, take breaks! It’s important!